THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE 2010 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them bigger than a matchbox: Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in his great uncle Iggie's Tokyo apartment. When he later inherited the 'netsuke', they unlocked a story far larger and more dramatic than he could ever have imagined. From a burgeoning empire in Odessa to fin de siecle Paris, from occupied Vienna to Tokyo, Edmund de Waal traces the netsuke's journey through generations of his remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century. 'You have in your hands a masterpiece' Frances Wilson, Sunday Times 'The most brilliant book I've read for years... A rich tale of the pleasure and pains of what it is to be human' Bettany Hughes, Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year 'A complex and beautiful book' Diana Athill
Traces the parallel stories of 19th-century art patron Charles Ephrussi and his unique collection of 264 miniature netsuke Japanese ivory carvings, documenting Ephrussi's relationship with Marcel Proust and the impact of the Holocaust on his cosmopolitan family. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
The definitive illustrated edition of the international bestseller Two hundred and sixty-four Japanese wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox: Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in his great-uncle Iggie's Tokyo apartment. When he later inherited the netsuke, they unlocked a far more dramatic story than he could ever have imagined. From a burgeoning empire in Odessa to fin de siècle Paris, from occupied Vienna to postwar Tokyo, de Waal traces the netsuke's journey through generations of his remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century. With sumptuous photographs of the netsuke collection and full-color images from de Waal's family archive, the illustrated edition of The Hare with Amber Eyes transforms a deeply intimate saga into a work of visual art.
** A Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller ** "Other things in the world are white but for me porcelain comes first" A handful of clay from a Chinese hillside carries a promise: that mixed with the right materials, it might survive the fire of the kiln, and fuse into porcelain – translucent, luminous, white. Acclaimed writer and potter Edmund de Waal sets out on a quest - a journey that begins in the dusty city of Jingdezhen in China and travels on to Venice, Versailles, Dublin, Dresden, the Appalachian Mountains of South Carolina and the hills of Cornwall to tell the history of porcelain. Along the way, he meets the witnesses to its creation; those who were inspired, made rich or heartsick by it, and the many whose livelihoods, minds and bodies were broken by this obsession. It spans a thousand years and reaches into some of the most tragic moments of recent times. In these intimate and compelling encounters with the people and landscapes who made porcelain, Edmund de Waal enriches his understanding of this rare material, the ‘white gold’ he has worked with for decades. ** Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4 **
I’ve been thinking about new ways to make pauses, spaces, and silences, where breath is held inside and between each vessel, between the objects and the vitrines, the vitrines and the room. —Edmund de Waal Though known for his best-selling novel The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010), de Waal is primarily a ceramic artist. He has been shown and collected by museums throughout the world. This beautiful catalogue documents his first show with Gagosian Gallery, New York. Atemwende comprises a series of vitrines containing thrown porcelain vessels arranged in specific groupings. From simple pairs of pots to complex multitudes in their hundreds, these minimalist dichotomies in black and white suggest the sequences and patterns of a musical score, while titles cite the poetry of Paul Celan, Wallace Stevens, and others.
'The Fall is a moving portrait of a relationship with a child and a place. It is a rare book: by turns heartbreaking, angry and lyrical' – Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare With Amber Eyes. Step 1: Tito has cerebral palsy. Step 2: I blame Tito’s cerebral palsy on Pietro Lombardo. Join Diogo Mainardi and his son Tito in a journey of 424 steps, starting with Tito’s disastrous birth in Venice, in Lombardo’s Renaissance hospital. It’s a journey full of joy and reflection, and an honest exploration of fatherhood. It’s a journey that follows the arc of Western culture, from Dante Alighieri, Rembrandt van Rijn and Claude Monet to Marcel Proust, Neil Young and Assassin’s Creed, to show how one boy’s fate has been shaped by history. Above all, it’s a celebration of love and courage, and of the hope and faith we place in our children.
A sweeping cultural and economic history of porcelain, from the eighteenth century to the present Porcelain was invented in medieval China—but its secret recipe was first reproduced in Europe by an alchemist in the employ of the Saxon king Augustus the Strong. Saxony’s revered Meissen factory could not keep porcelain’s ingredients secret for long, however, and scores of Holy Roman princes quickly founded their own mercantile manufactories, soon to be rivaled by private entrepreneurs, eager to make not art but profits. As porcelain’s uses multiplied and its price plummeted, it lost much of its identity as aristocratic ornament, instead taking on a vast number of banal, yet even more culturally significant, roles. By the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it became essential to bourgeois dining, and also acquired new functions in insulator tubes, shell casings, and teeth. Weaving together the experiences of entrepreneurs and artisans, state bureaucrats and female consumers, chemists and peddlers, Porcelain traces the remarkable story of “white gold” from its origins as a princely luxury item to its fate in Germany’s cataclysmic twentieth century. For three hundred years, porcelain firms have come and gone, but the industry itself, at least until very recently, has endured. After Augustus, porcelain became a quintessentially German commodity, integral to provincial pride, artisanal industrial production, and a familial sense of home. Telling the story of porcelain’s transformation from coveted luxury to household necessity and flea market staple, Porcelain offers a fascinating alternative history of art, business, taste, and consumption in Central Europe.
'A wonderful book about wonderful books and mothers and sons and the enduring braid between them.' - Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays With Morrie 'a true meditation on what books can do.' - Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes Mary Anne Schwalbe is waiting for her chemotherapy treatments when Will casually asks her what she's reading. The conversation they have grows into tradition: soon they are reading the same books so they can have something to talk about in the hospital waiting room. Their choices range from classic (Howards End) to popular (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), from fantastic (The Hobbit) to spiritual (Jon Kabat-Zinn), with many more in between. We hear their passion for reading and their love for each other in their intimate and searching discussions. The End of Your Life Book Club is a profoundly moving testament to the unconditional love between a child and parent, and the power of reading in our lives.
WITH A FOREWORD BY EDMUND DE WAAL, AUTHOR OF THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES SET IN THE ASHES OF POST–SECOND WORLD WAR VIENNA, A POWERFUL, SUBTLE NOVEL OF EXILES RETURNING HOME FIFTEEN YEARS AFTER FLEEING HITLER'S DEADLY REIGN Vienna is demolished by war, the city an alien landscape of ruined castles, a fractured ruling class, and people picking up the pieces. Elisabeth de Waal's mesmerizing The Exiles Return is a stunningly vivid postwar story of Austria's fallen aristocrats, unrepentant Nazis, and a culture degraded by violence. The novel follows a number of exiles, each returning under very different circumstances, who must come to terms with a city in painful recovery. There is Kuno Adler, a Jewish research scientist, who is tired of his unfulfilling existence in America; Theophil Kanakis, a wealthy Greek businessman, seeking to plunder some of the spoils of war; Marie-Theres, a brooding teenager, sent by her parents in hopes that the change of scene will shake her out of her funk; and Prince "Bimbo" Grein, a handsome young man with a title divested of all its social currency. With immaculate precision and sensitivity, de Waal, an exile herself, captures a city rebuilding and relearning its identity, and the people who have to do the same. Mesmerizing and tragic, de Waal has written a masterpiece of European literature, an artifact revealing a moment in our history, clear as a snapshot, but timeless as well.